Standing Up to the Bullies—Canada Digs In!
While US President Barack Obama goes toe-to-toe with his Republican House adversaries in a staredown over the debt ceiling, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has taken a few positions which, frankly, surprised me. They also impressed me and I want here to give Mr. Baird and Mr. Harper full credit for their bold and unashamed defence of Israel, common sense and realistic worldviews. I pray they may continue to stand firm in the face of the criticism and carping they will no doubt face at home and abroad.
- The Foreign Affairs Minister did an apparent about-face on Israel's borders. While he was quoted in early June as supportive of President Obama's naïve and arrogant attempt to push Israel back to their indefensible 1967 borders, he now says that Canada stands by Israel in the defence of her sovereignty and will oppose a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood. Either he was confused before or he's confused now or he's been told to change his tune. At any rate, the new Foreign Affairs Minister is massaging his message with more recognition for Israeli concerns. Time will tell whether Mr. Baird and Mr. Harper will hold the line but it's a relief to see the Minister stepping back to his pre-June 2nd position.
- Along a similar line, Mr. Baird expressed his disapproval of the failed Gaza flotilla which was unable to launch effectively from Greece in its attempt to break Israel's blockade of Gaza. The Canadians on board are now returning home. A ship's captain was arrested and at least one boat was turned back to Greece from open waters. Mr. Baird said that the photo-op venture by Westerners who are sympathetic to the feel-good cause of the Palestinians and hostile towards Israel was "provocative" and "unhelpful".
- Lastly, and symbolically, Mr. Baird has said flatly that Canada will boycott the UN Conference on Disarmament because it is being chaired (absurdly) by North Korea, a nation so uncommitted to peace and disarmament that to participate and give credibility to such a committee would be irresponsible. Good for him and good for Mr. Harper. For too long, Canada has been complicit in the unraveling (by the UN itself) of international standards and this may be one placing where employing Mr. Baird as an "enforcer" could be a bright idea.
I haven't yet decided that Mr. Baird will be a good Foreign Affairs Minister. I am skeptical that anyone who voted in favour of the wicked and foolish Transgender Bill in the last parliament can have all his logic and good sense intact. Mr. Baird, with 17 of Mr. Harper's cabinet last year (including Mr. Harper himself) also voted against Rexene's Law, a bill which would have sensibly and compassionately made it illegal to coerce, harass or intimidate a woman to have an abortion against her will. This raises questions for me about Canada's role in a world already filled with abortion-related atrocities against women and children. It seems obvious to me that any MP who is unable to commit to protecting young Canadian women and children at home may also make mistakes in foreign policy—mistakes which cost lives or diminish the sovereignty of free states. I also question Canada's role in Libya, which I believe will strengthen our enemies and ultimately result in political power-shifts that may undermine our best and most noble efforts.
But today, with his 3 solid statements of support for Israel, for common sense at the UN level and a rejection of unilateral and provocative declarations by those who neither love peace nor keep their word, I have to tip my hat to Mr. Baird and Mr. Harper. May they build on these clear and wise statements and work to exert maximum influence in world affairs—influence in protection of innocent human life, national sovereignty for all peace-loving states and a restoration of wisdom, innocence and goodwill in all their international dealings. We will thank them publicly when they do what's right for it is a time for all Canadians of goodwill to work together as much as possible.
It's also time to encourage our leaders to stand up to the bullies in Canada!—those who deny freedom of speech to Christians, those who mistakenly claim a "right" to kill babies and those who want to force our children and grandchildren to approve of and embrace sexual perversion. These bullies are just as rude, just as persistent and just as dangerous as suicide bombers and they need to know that the leaders of this country will stand up to them and protect our children. We look for that kind of leadership and will rejoice when we see it.